Retinol assessment among women and children in Sahelian mobile pastoralists

Bechir, M. and Schelling, E. and Kraemer, K. and Schweigert, F. and Bonfoh, B. and Crump, L. and Tanner, M. and Zinsstag, J.. (2012) Retinol assessment among women and children in Sahelian mobile pastoralists. EcoHealth, Vol. 9, H. 2. pp. 113-121.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6094344

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Micronutrient deficiencies are widespread in developing countries, particularly in remote communities such as mobile pastoralists. The nutritional and vitamin A status of this population is not well-documented in Chad. This study assessed serum retinol levels among women and children under five-year-old in nomadic and semi-nomadic pastoralist and rural-settled communities, who are similarly exposed to risk factors such as gastrointestinal parasitic infection, anaemia and emaciation. The novel method of portable fluorometry was used for the first time to measure beta-carotene and retinol levels in a pastoral nomadic area. Moderate level blood retinol deficiency (>0.7 mumol/L) was observed in 5% (CI 1-11) of nomadic, 29% (CI 13-45) of semi-nomadic and 22% (CI 8-35) of sedentary women. In children, 1% (CI 0.1-4), 17% (CI 9-25) and 28% (CI 18-39), respectively, had moderate level blood retinol deficiency. In nomadic communities, women and children had blood retinol levels close to normal. Deficiency of retinol was strongly linked with lifestyle (nomadic, semi-nomadic and settled) among women and lifestyle and age among children. The results support an ecological linkage between human retinol levels and livestock milk retinol. This study shows the feasibility of portable retinol and beta-carotene measurement in human blood as well as human and animal milk under remote field conditions, but the approach requires further validation
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Human and Animal Health
UniBasel Contributors:Tanner, Marcel and Zinsstag, Jakob Z and Schelling, Esther
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:16 Aug 2013 07:34
Deposited On:16 Aug 2013 07:29

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